- A gang is a group of people who claim a territory and use it to make money through illegal activities (i.e. drug trafficking).
- Gangs can be organized based upon race, ethnicity, territory, or money-making activities, and are generally made up of members ages 8 to 22.
- Members of gangs wear specific articles of clothing to be recognized as part of the group such as bandanas, hats, scarves of certain colors, or gang-related tattoos or symbols.
- Gangs are one of the leading factors for growth of violent crimes both on and off school property.
- When joining a gang, often times there is an initiation that needs to be passed. This initiation is usually a violent crime that could include theft, murder, gang-rape, or drive-by shootings.
- Gang members are more likely to be arrested or involved with drugs and alcohol than non-gang members.
- 86 percent of U.S. cities with a population of 100,000 or more report gang activity.
- According to the FBI there are 33,000 violent street, motorcycle, and prison gangs active in the U.S., with more than 1.4 million members (a 40 percent increase from 2009).
- In recent years, gangs are participating in more non-traditional crimes such as prostitution, alien smuggling, and human trafficking, as well as white-collar crimes like counterfeiting, identity theft, and mortgage fraud. These new, non-traditional crimes create higher profitability and lower visibility.
- California, New Mexico, Nevada, Illinois, and Idaho have the highest concentration of gang members, with more than 6,000 per state.
- Neighborhood-based gangs pose the highest rate of significant threat for violent crimes in the U.S, versus national-level street gangs, prison gangs, and outlaw motorcycle gangs.
Learn the terms to recognize a gang if you see one. GO
Sources: NCPC, NSSC, Statistic Brain, FBI